As you probably already know, I have a true passion for rowing. I’ve been rowing since… forever, and I still love it.
However, I am also human, and I think it’s in our nature to get bored with the same old thing day after day, whether it’s a favorite food, the color scheme in our bathroom, and even our workout routine.
I believe that this is the only reason why gyms are so popular. You have access (when you don’t have to wait in line) to a dozen different exercise machines, so if you are bored with one, you simply move to another.
If you’re like me, however, you prefer the convenience of working out from home but don’t have the space or the cash for a dozen machines. Shoot, I know many people who are lucky to have space for a single piece of exercise equipment!
What if I told you that I have a little secret stored near my rower? Resistance bands!
These are truly wonderful but underrated pieces of workout equipment. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and can be taken with you wherever you go!
Of course, resistance bands aren’t going to give you a cardio workout, but they will give you muscle strength that you never knew you had!
If you don’t have room or the money for a big weight set, don’t worry! All you need is a good set of resistance bands for strength training that will take your rowing workouts to a new level!
Are you ready? Good! Keep reading because aside from letting you in on how to improve your rowing sessions with resistance bands, I will also tell you about a little-known machine that incorporates both rowing and resistance band training in one!
You don’t want to miss this one, friends!
What Are Resistance Bands for Rowing?
If you haven’t seen them, a rowing resistance band looks like a super-sized rubber band. Some have handles on the ends, other models just have a single loop that is long enough for you to wrap your hands around.
Imagine pulling on a big rubber band. It offers resistance, and resistance is what helps your muscles grow stronger.
You can use these resistance bands in place of dumbbells. When it comes to building muscle, unless you are a professional bodybuilder, all you really need is a good set of resistance bands.
No Rowing Machine Required!
In fact, if you don’t have a rowing machine, you can do your own makeshift rowing machine simply by using a resistance band.
Depending on which type of band you have, you will want to wrap it around your feet. Take the other end and keeping your legs straight and flat on the floor, you simply pull back on the resistance band. This exercise is known as resistance band row.
If you want the leg motion, I once saw someone put two blocks of wood against a wall. They would put their feet against the woodblocks and wrap the resistance band around their feet. Then, they sat on a skateboard and pushed themselves backward with their legs while pulling on the resistance band.
I thought it was quite an ingenious setup that accomplished the basics of rowing.
If you have a rowing machine, you can use resistance band rows to help build strength and muscles so you will perform better.
There are several ways to do a resistance band row.
The easiest way is to find a sturdy pole or you can even use a doorknob. Some resistance bands have attachments that allow you to put the band under the door and close it, which secures the band in place.
The starting position is to put the band in the place you have chosen. You can do this standing or sitting. Step back until the band is taut but not too tight. Pull the handles back but be sure to keep your elbows close to your ribs. You don’t want your arms to look like chicken wings sticking out!
Pull back until your arms are even with your ribcage. If you can’t pull back that far, that’s OK. Pull as far as you can and you will improve with time.
This Youtube video shows you how it’s done and has more information about the proper form you should take for a resistance band row.
You might even want to drill into a wall and secure an eyelet to a stud so you can attach your resistance bands and do a resistance band row at home.
If you are at a hotel or somewhere that makes it difficult to secure your band, you can sit on the floor, wrap the resistance band around your feet, and pull back on the handles or on the band that is wrapped around your hands.
For stronger shoulder muscles, you can also do a bent-over resistance band row. For this starting position, put the band on the floor and stand on it, keeping your legs about hip-width apart. Bend over at the waist and keep your knees slightly bent. Now pull up to your waist.
Working Other Muscles
For working the rear deltoids, the lower to mid-trapezoids, and the rhomboids, you can try this resistance band row.
Secure one end of the resistance band so that it is at the same level as your face. Stand up straight and pull back on the resistance band until your hands just touch your face or you can pull back past your face if you have two handles. Watch that you are using your shoulders and arms to pull and that you don’t arch your back.
You can also stand and hold each end of the resistance band in your hands. Put your hands together at chest height, then pull them apart as far as you can, keeping the resistance band chest high.
For those who want to work their core muscles and you’ve been doing planks for days, try wrapping a resistance band around your hand and across your upper shoulders. Now push up and hold that plank. You will really feel this one, I guarantee it!
While a resistance band has its limits, I believe you can easily find 50-lb weighted resistance bands. Of course, for bodybuilders, you will want more weight, but for the majority of people who are simply looking to improve their upper back muscles and shoulder muscles, resistance bands are right up there with other types of strength training.
For strength training the upper body, doing a resistance band row on a regular basis will help you build upper body strength.
What Muscles Do Resistance Band Rows Work?
Doing a resistance band row works more muscles than you might think! These work the following muscle groups:
The front portion of the upper arms (biceps)
The neck, shoulders, and upper back (trapezius)
The muscles between the shoulder blades (rhomboids)
The middle back (latissimus dorsi)
Imagine having a stronger upper body. All you need is a resistance band and enough space to use it.
Can You Gain Muscle Mass with Resistance Bands?
You certainly can!
Muscles will grow larger with resistance. Whether you are pushing, pulling, or lifting, anything that challenges your muscles will cause them to grow larger.
You can even build muscles simply by using bodyweight exercises (such as pushups or pull-ups) but most people find that having a tool such as a resistance band helps them to reach their goals faster.
Want Even More from Your Rowing Machine Workouts?
So now that I’ve got you sold on doing a resistance band row, you might be wondering if there were other workouts you could do that would improve your overall fitness level, give you more back strength, lower body strength, and generally help your training in all areas.
This rowing machine is a rowing workout, strength training, Pilates, core workout, HIIT, and more all in a single piece of equipment.
The LIT Method uses a water rower for cardio and a full-body workout, but it also has anchors for resistance bands and a bar that you can also attach the resistance bands to, so you get more from your workout sessions.
I know when I first heard about this machine, it sounded too good to be true, but it’s everything I said above and so much more.
The LIT Method uses all low-impact exercises so you greatly reduce your risk of injury. It has up to 100 lbs of resistance using the bands and up to 40 pounds of water resistance when rowing.
The classes on the LIT app are world-class, too. You can do Barre training, Pilates, physical therapy, and core training.
These are live and on-demand workouts using a Bluetooth-enabled machine. Cast the workouts to your television set or secure your tablet or cellphone to the built-in media holder. Hook up those headphones and you will find so much more than just a resistance band row!
You Can Do a Resistance Band Row or Kick Your Workouts into High Gear with the LIT Method
The LIT Method uses a combination of workouts that are HIIT-worthy. You may start off rowing, only to have the instructor tell you to get off the machine and do some Pilates stretching. You will get back on the rowing machine for 500 meters, then jump off again to do some bicep curls with the attached resistance bands.
Rowing is a full-body workout, but there is nothing to match the HIIT training you will get using the LIT Method! I was so impressed by the workouts that I’ve ordered a LIT Strength Machine for my home gym!
Don’t stick to that boring treadmill routine. Do you want to kick your workouts up a couple of notches and get in shape faster than you ever imagined possible? Then you should check out the LIT Strength Machine.
The Bottom Line
Resistance band rows are terrific for strengthening your upper body and improving your rowing performance.
Resistance bands are every bit as effective as traditional strength training using weights and dumbbells, but they cost less and take up very little room.
However, if you’ve been considering purchasing a piece of gym equipment or even an indoor rowing machine, I highly recommend that you take a look at the LIT Strength Machine before you hit that BUY NOW button.
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